After a barnstorming final seven rounds of the NBL season where we hit on 18/22 of our bets (all $1.80+) we now shift our attention to the Semi-Finals! The first of two matchups we’ll look at is the Perth Wildcats vs Cairns Taipans series and you can find our preview and best betting tips for the series score and for Game 1 below. Good luck to everyone following!
The Wildcats capped off another fantastic regular season in the NBL by finishing second on the ladder to earn home court advantage in the semi-finals. Bryce Cotton led the way for them on the court again by averaging over 22 points a game and earning his second career NBL MVP. Terrico was solid without being great and Nick Kay surprised many by making the first team all NBL at the end of season awards. The Wildcats also made a move to get ex-NBA man Miles Plumlee to fill a role in the centre position and he looks poised to make a big impact in the playoffs.
The Taipans surprised us all with their dramatic improvement from last season where they finished with just six wins and the Wooden Spoon. They won an additional 10 games this regular season to finish in third spot and give themselves a chance to make history. Import Scott Machado was the difference maker on offence, leading the league in assists and finishing runner up in the MVP. Cam Oliver was the another big achiever and was very stiff to miss out on first team all MVP honours on the back of his 17 points and nine rebounds a game. Last but not least, DJ Newbill was fantastic this season, especially on the defensive end where he earned the Defensive Player of the Year award.
Both of these teams come into the playoff in great form and have very little to worry about on the injury front, which means there’s no excuses for poor performances from either team. These clubs met three times during the regular season and the Taipans won the series 2-1, which will give them plenty of confidence here. However, they severely lack the experience of the Wildcats in the playoffs and we think that will really hurt them here. The Wildcats are the most successful NBL team in history for a reason and we think they’ll make another trip to the Grand Final again this season by defeating the Taipans in three games.
The semi-finals are only a best of three series, which means Game 1 is vitally important. The Wildcats finished higher than the Taipans on the ladder in the regular season, so they’ve earned the right to play on their home court in Games 1 and 3 (if necessary) of the series. As mentioned above, the Wildcats have a huge advantage in playoffs experience over the Taipans, which we believe will make a big difference in Game 1. Yes, the Wildcats lost big on their home court against the Snakes in the regular season, but the playoffs is a totally difference beast and the Wildcats are a proven force under these conditions. We’re expecting Terrico White to elevate his game to play Robin to Bryce Cotton’s Batman en route to a big statement win for the Wildcats on their home deck.
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